Bengals offensive coordinator Hue Jackson doesn’t mind that people found quarterback A.J. McCarron cocky during the pre-draft process.
Jackson said he’s been called cocky too and he likes confidence in his quarterbacks, which helps explain why the Bengals made McCarron a fifth-round pick on Saturday. The addition of McCarron comes during an offseason that’s featured a lot of speculation about Andy Dalton’s future in Cincinnati, which led Jackson to clarify that McCarron’s arrival has nothing to do with Dalton.
“This is not about Andy Dalton,” Jackson said, via the Cincinnati Enquirer. “Andy Dalton is our quarterback and we stand by him 100 percent. And he has done a tremendous job during the offseason. I am so looking forward to working with all these guys, but obviously he is the leader of our football team. I think he has a bright, bright future ahead of him.”
Given the scrutiny that Dalton’s been under this offseason, we’re not surprised that Jackson made things clear but the situations speaks for itself. If you are planning to challenge an incumbent starter, you don’t wait until the fifth round to do it. Dalton’s going to rise or fall because of what he does on the field, not because of anything McCarron does. Like most fifth-round picks, McCarron is a lottery ticket that may bring something in return or he may wind up hanging on the fringes for a few years before dropping out of view.